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We are ready for the presidential poll Saturday-HirShabelle election committee

Storyline:National News
A delegate casts his vote in Puntland during the parliamentary elections 2016. State Assembly in HirShabelle will elect new president September 16. Photo: Amisom

All plans are in place to ensure a free and fair presidential election Saturday in HirShabelle state, the state presidential election committee has said.

The committee’s chair Mohamed Hussein Yusuf told Goobjoog News in the capital Jowhar his team had completed preparations for the elections which were supposed to be held today (Tuesday) but were postponed for four days.

“As an election committee, we have have no shortfall. Even the four days extension came form the public among them civil society groups, elders and women organisations who said they needed more time to get sufficient information about the aspirants ahead of the poll,” said Yusuf.

Yusuf said the aspirants (8 in total) will present their pre-election plans and manifesto to the public Wednesday and Thursday. ‘We will ensure the public gets a chance to listen to the candidates before they go to the polls,” added Yusuf. HirShabelle state assembly is composed on 98 lawmakers who will be casting their vote for the candidates.

The chairman dismissed claims the immediate former embattled president Abdullahi Ali Osoble would influence the elections noting, “No MPs are on his side and that issue is not true. The state MPs are the ones that ousted him from power. Initially they were some but now they all deserted him. You can recall he went to Beletweyne town accompanied not even by a single MP which is a clear testimony that none is supporting him.”

Osoble moved to Beletweyne last month and announced he was planning the formation of a new state drawing sharp warning from the UN against such a move.

Meanwhile security has been tightened in Jowhar ahead of the Saturday poll. Goobjoog News correspondents in the town say security agencies can be seen taking positions in various parts of the town. “State security is jointly monitored by the NISA (intelligence agency), state police, Somali National Army and AMISOM from Burundi stationed in the Middle Shabelle region. Checkpoints located in the outskirts of the town are also heavily manned.”

Schoos near the polling centre have also been closed.